Inslee announces two-week pause on phases

State case counts (Graph courtesy Governor’s office)

Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday announced a two-week pause on movement in the Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan. Under the pause, every county will remain in its current phase. At the end of two weeks, each county will be re-evaluated.

The decision was made in consultation with the Department of Health, and reflects current data suggesting Washington’s fourth wave has hit a plateau.

“We are at the intersection of progress and failure, and we cannot veer from the path of progress,” Inslee said. “Our economy is beginning to show early signs of growth thanks to some of our great legislative victories and we know vaccines are the ticket to further reopening — if we adhere to public health until enough people are vaccinated.”

For the past several weeks, epidemiologists have been following the state’s fourth COVID-19 wave, which now appears to be leveling out. The fourth wave has been less severe and case counts and mortalities have not been tied in rates of increase as they have in the past.

The changes in data throughout the fourth wave have been attributed to increasing vaccination rates, shortening hospital stays and lessening the severity of the illness. The state’s early vaccine prioritization has also been tied to improved data and decreasing mortality rates in the state’s most vulnerable populations.

“Vaccines are one of the most important tools we have to fight this pandemic,” said Umair Shah, MD, MPH, secretary, Department of Health. “This ‘pause’ will allow our partners to advance their efforts to vaccinate individuals, families, and work with businesses to continue to reopen safely.”

Vaccines are now available to all Washingtonians 16 and up. To find an appointment, visit VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov.

“While we’re pausing today, it doesn’t mean we have a clear path out of these phases either. We have a choice in these next couple weeks to get vaccinated and take more control over the course of this pandemic,” Inslee said. “If we can do the right thing together, we can pull through. I am confident and believe that if more people continue to get vaccinated and mask up, we can get our numbers down.”

20 Replies to “Inslee announces two-week pause on phases”

  1. It is a sad state of affairs that “one of the most important tools we have to fight this pandemic” is a shot which does not stop the recipient from contracting the virus, does not stop the recipient from spreading the virus, and for which the unavoidably unsafe injection represents a greater risk of injury or death to the vast majority of the population than the virus itself.

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  2. Excellent news. That really shows that the vaccines are working even with the new variant.

    Plus with vaccine sites now open on Saturdays, that will help with those that could not her the time of of work to get one.

    Now if enough people get the vaccine, the decline will continue and we will finally be able to fully open up again.

    Hopefully enough people will value the life of their family, friends, and community over the deadly anti vax conspiracies and we will have high enough vaccination rates to open up again.

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    1. Rather than name-calling or seeding division, let’s stand together in agreement that we are pro-health; and together, demand the truth.

      In its decision against Bruesewtiz nearly 10 years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States acknowledged vaccines are unavoidably unsafe while maintaining manufacturers’ immunity from product liability. Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg dissented, including concern that, “Neither the FDA nor any other federal agency, nor state and federal juries ensures that vaccine manufacturers adequately take account of scientific and technological advancements.” What impressive foresight.

      On Pfizer’s website: https://www.pfizer.com/science/coronavirus you are greeted by a bold banner which begins, “The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).” Then you can scroll down the page on the Pfizer website to view “How to protect yourself from coronavirus.” Of the 6 recommendations, none involves getting their shot!

      In the Pfizer clinical trial, the placebo was 99.12% effective (only 0.88% of the placebo group got the virus). In the Moderna trial, their placebo was 99.4% effective (only 0.6% of the placebo group contracted the virus).

      Segregating society based on vaccination status is wrong. Science shows that those with healthy natural immunity should have no restrictions or requirements whatsoever, and that includes mask-wearing!

      Dumbo didn’t need a feather to fly, and we don’t need an injection to be healthy or keep each other safe.

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    2. Highy agree. And if concern for other citizens, their families and communities isn’t enough…how about the concerns for yourselves, your businesses who many may refuse to patronize…These should be enough reasons to get good vaccine, which we have here now. Want to open up? Be free of fear of the next shutdown?
      I am thrilled to be fully vaccinated and 5 weeks past waiting period from second Pfizer shot. I had no side effects. Arm teeny bit sore for one day.
      Just get it.

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      1. You getting vaccinated does NOT protect other people, in fact that misconception is likely the main reason for the increased numbers. The current shots only protect you from the more severe symptoms of getting Covid, you can still get it and spread it just like someone that has not been vaccinated. The only way to not spread Covid is to stay a safe distance away from everyone else and there is considerable debate on exactly the length of that distance. Three feet or six feet are not a guarantee of anything, twenty one feet is much more likely the right answer but is not workable to be open at all.

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  3. Sweden. Still never locked down, little to no masks, schools opened, 10th best EU country in low cases and death rates. Nothing the government did has affected a better change than doing relatively nothing at all. People in prior threads used to point to India and Asia as having a better Covid response and policy than Trump.

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    1. Not true. Have you read about Swedens immigration system right now. It’s nil…just about. Also much much smaller. You want to be a Socialist now?

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  4. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/DataDashboard
    1. Why are the cases so much worse since they started administering the vaccines?
    2. Brian’s opening statement is verified by the vaccine manufacturer’s own sites, every word of it. When are any of these points going to be addressed?
    3. Matt’s points appear to be accurate as well. If nothing more, they should make you question what we have been doing.
    4. Sweden is not a Socialist country. Where does that come from?
    5. I will continue to make medical decisions in consultation with my doctor. Everyone else can kindly keep their opinions to themselves. I’m never going to let “wannabe doctors” even recommend what I should or shouldn’t do. That includes the delivery person and Governor Inslee

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  5. According to data from the European Union and the Swedish census, that country allowed entry to 1,639,771 immigrants from 2010-2015, the most recent figure I found. That number is an increase over the previous 5 year period. Sweden allowed in 253,787 refugees in 2019, an increase over each of the previous 4 years. For a country of 10,152,868 people this seems to me much more than what some people label as “nil…just about”. I don’t know what any of this has to do with socialism?
    In the spirit of speaking to truth I admit vaccines are not perfect. However, I object to criticisms of their use with false equivalencies. The Supreme Court case, Bruesewitz v Wyeth, was about how to compensate victims and punish drug companies. It was not about the efficacy of vaccines.
    Can the science upon which a company develops a vaccine be false? Of course it can! This is why we want vaccines researched extensively for flaws. The present Covid vaccines had no long-term research. This is one reason the FDA approved the use only on an emergency basis. A simple analysis of factually accurate data shows that death for adults from Covid far more likely than from complications due to one of the approved vaccines. We should be thoughtful about the medications we take, not hysterical or prejudiced. I am thankful that my parents had me take the sugar cube of polio vaccine, and made sure I had the vaccines to go to school. In our travels my family thought it wise to vaccinate against smallpox, malaria and yellow fever. We all need to make decisions informed by science, truth and our individual best interests.

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    1. As far as a simple analysis, COVID shots may increase the risk of death nearly 3x over natural exposure.

      As Sotomayor stated in her dissent, the immunity upheld by the Supreme Court and lack of sufficient oversight by governmental agencies, prevent pharmaceutical companies from being held accountable for adverse consequences of their medical products nor incentivized to make their vaccines more safe.

      For example, the FDA accepts any mixture of chemicals, which have been deemed safe individually, to be combined. Though unknown and potentially harmful compounds may result, the new concoction is presumed safe. “Safety” of a vaccine is then assessed among the “placebo” group which is injected with this new concoction; the active vaccine has the one new ingredient added. This creates the situation, such as seen with the HPV vaccine, where the number of injuries in the active test group appears similar to the “placebo” control group.

      Here is my analysis:

      In Pfizer and Moderna trials, 162 and 90 out of 21,728 and 15,000 individuals in the placebo group, respectively, contracted the virus. Therefore, odds of contracting the virus is about 1 in 150, or 0.69%

      From CDC data, among 32,313,016 cases, there were 575,491 deaths. This yields a 1.78% chance of death from contracting the virus. Multiplying the odds of contracting the virus by the risk of dying from it, the result is a 0.012% chance of dying from natural exposure to the virus.

      When looking at the safety of the vaccine, there is uncertainty due to the United States’ poor accountability for adverse vaccine reactions. Based on CDC reported 107,346,533 “fully-vaccinated,” and 35,440 deaths (per adjusted* VAERS data) from the shot, there is a 0.033% risk of death from the shot.

      *Adjusted per Global Research 3/30/2021 Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null

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  6. Michael, that was well written and thoughtful. The only part I might take exception to is anyone being able to perform a simple analysis of factually accurate data. I’m not sure we will ever be able to say that with any confidence. This has been a political nightmare from the start.

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  7. Wow, Brian. that is some impressive information. I must admit that I don’t understand a bunch of it. I am not doubting its veracity.
    We agree with Sotomayer that our government’s agencies require more tools to oversee pharmaceutical companies. From my point of view this is different than the efficacy of a vaccine.
    Finding reliable demographic data about Sweden did not take me long. I trust the data coming out of the CDC and John Hopkins about cofirmed Covid cases and deaths. I trust what the CDC and state health officials say about the efficacy of the three Covid-approved vaccines. A simple analysis of this, which I considered to be factually accurate data, allowed me to conclude that getting vaccinated had less risk than getting Covid. Whatsmore, a simple analysis of the lies and stupidities coming from the White House and its task force in 2019 reinforced my conclusion.
    Wasn’t it Ben Franklin that said only death and taxes are certain? Yes, there is uncertainty. That is why I am understanding of people who determine risks are too high. What I object to is others scaring them with lies, conpirancy theories and unrelated issues.

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  8. Each of us must discern what is theory and what is fact. If your goal is to reduce the probability of testing positive for the virus, then based on data from clinical trials, just take the shot, there is published data to back that decision.

    But, if you’re concerned whether the cure is worse than the disease, then an analysis similar to what I assembled, using factually accurate data, should give you pause.

    My goal is not to scare anyone. But if what I have shared causes you to question whether government officials have been focused more on case counts than your ultimate health, and that is troubling to you, then your fear may be attributed to lack of information or blind trust.

    It’s hard taking the blinders off, and okay to be angry with whomever is providing you the news you watch, hear, or read that’s void of critical thinking or open dialogue.

    It would be much easier for me to be silent, let you do you, and not get labeled as a conspiracy theorist. But having done further independent research and analysis in response to your challenge to bring factually accurate data to the table (thank you, by the way), I am even more confident in my position. I feel compelled to share what I have learned because I care about our community. My sense is that many of us lack sufficient information to make an informed choice.

    When you talk to your doctor about your personal health decision, be sure to ask where they got/get their information.

    It is scary (at first) to think you can’t trust government officials or the mainstream press. But once you dig into factually accurate data, it is freeing, and begs the question, “Who are the conspirators?”

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    1. If the goal is to beat COVID and help keep others from getting sick, the answer is get the vaccine — or go into a complete lockdown for months if not years.

      I’ll take the former over the latter any day.

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    2. Brian, read this carefully. Dr. Fauci says that because everyone *has* been wearing masks and socially distancing that influenza has been effectively eliminated. So there’s obviously other means to eliminate a coronavirus without a vaccine. On the other hand he’s saying that the spikes in new CV-19 cases are due to people *not* wearing masks or social distancing. So we both have and have not been wearing masks. Also, vaccines are and are not the only way to stop a coronavirus. It’s both things and neither.

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  9. Please provide the evidence you are relying upon to substantiate your claims regarding the benefits of the shot.

    According to the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html),
    “What We Are Still Learning: Although COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting sick, scientists are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not have symptoms.”

    Since the CDC acknowledges that you can still spread the virus even if you’ve received a warp-speed injection, how does getting the shot end perpetual lock-downs?

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  10. This conversation is further evidence that the things that matter must be researched and decisions made based on unbiased information. There has been a great deal of relying on experts who are casually dependent on facts. Banning dissenters from social media should only cause us to question their motives. That is really the only part I can’t seem to figure out. What benefit are the people in charge gaining by turning us all against each other, over virtually everything? If the intent is to destroy, that would make sense. But they’re going down with the ship, whether they know it or not.

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